The Most Popular Cars in LA

Ah, the City of Angels. Home to movie stars, chic nightclubs, and weather that never fails to disappoint. Over 3.8 million people share space in Los Angeles, and they all have places to go and people to meet. So what types of vehicles do they use for these LA jaunts?

Let’s find out! Here are the top ten most popular vehicles in LA as determined by auto registrations in early 2012.

10. Toyota Tacoma

True, pickup trucks are about half as popular in Los Angeles as in the rest of the country. But the Tacoma is the best of the bunch with its smart combination of durability and reliability at a modest price. Tall people may have trouble sitting in a Tacoma, but this is LA — where all of the actors are short.

9. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The C-Class is the most popular choice in the luxury vehicle market in LA. Fun fact: more that 5 out of every 7 Mercedes vehicles registered in Los Angeles are leased, not purchased — showing that Los Angeles residents like to save some money while they foster an illusion of stature and fame.

8. Nissan Altima

Both the Altima coupe and sedan are popular among Angelinos because they’re so responsive on the roadways and sport a little bit of flair. Plus, their quiet ride is ideal for commuters who like to listen to the Namaste Meditation Channel on satellite radio.

7. Hyundai Sonata

With a reasonable price tag, loads of standard features, quick acceleration, a comfortable cabin, and impressive fuel economy ratings, the Sonata has everything that an LA resident would want. Except an NFL franchise.

6. Honda CR-V

Like trucks, sport utility vehicles are scarcer in Los Angeles when compared to the rest of the U.S. But the CR-V is the top choice because it doesn’t make Angelinos sacrifice fuel economy and cool features for enough cargo space to take their kiddos to the beach.

5. Toyota Corolla

It’s a nice, basic car that gets you from point A to point B. It does the job without a lot of fanfare, and doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. So in LA, it’s ideal for students, budget-minded drivers, and Clippers fans.

4. Toyota Prius

With the LA market share for Priuses exceeding that of the U.S. as a whole by 113%, the biggest surprise is why this car isn’t at the top of the list. But because it’s the most common alternative-energy vehicle in the city, Angelinos tend to use the term “Prius” ubiquitously to refer to any hybrid vehicle. Sort of like Xerox. Or Kleenex. Or Kevin Bacon.

3. Honda Accord

What’s not to like? The Accord has been a reliable, fuel-efficient vehicle for years, which is why it’s popular among residents in the city. Plus, its high resale value lets owners get a whole lot for their money — thus making it unlike everything else in LA.

2. Toyota Camry

The Camry has garnered this reputation of being “the car everybody buys.” And we’re not sure that’s really fair, because it continues to get high marks for safety, user-friendliness, and fuel economy. Besides, no one in LA cares one iota about their image or conforming to the crowd, right?

1. Honda Civic

It’s no shock that compact cars are more common in Los Angeles than the rest of the country. Lots of traffic and acreage makes the compact Civic an attractive option for getting around LA. Plus, the EX model comes with a power sunroof, which you can open up, sit back, and gaze dreamily into the smog.

So that perception that everyone in Los Angeles drives a hybrid or a luxury car? It’s simply not true — well, not completely, anyway. Most Angelinos try to save money on their vehicle payments and car insurance. But if they need to make an impression, there are plenty of places to rent an upscale ride for the evening or longer. That’s the LA way, baby!

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